I’ve been trying to find words that truly explain how I feel about everything going on right now. And every time I think about it it’s just producing so much anxiety, sadness, disappointment, and fear. This pandemic has the capacity to empower nurses, foster collaboration, assist in healing. But instead, we are drowning. Each day comes with less support and more responsibility. The safety and security we had yesterday is gone the next day. We can’t escape the misery of going 13 hours at a time wearing gowns or scrubs sweating from places in our bodies that we didn’t even know could sweat, faces and ears aching from the pressure of the suffocating masks. Then we go and care for people who are dying alone, because there are no visitors allowed. The emotional burden rips at the heart of every nurse.
And if we’re lucky enough to get a break from it all, we’re scared to eat lunch in the hospital, for fear of accidentally contaminating our food and unceremoniously dying amongst the lifeless bodies that we encounter every day.
And the pressure doesn’t lift all shift.
When am I going to get it? My coworkers know my code status, right? Will I be the cause of my husband’s death? Kids'?
We haven’t even hit our peak yet, but we’re told it’s coming. We’re envious of those bored people who are forced to work from home. But we continue to return each day because we have to. And because deep down, we really want to. We want to help. It’s our calling. And I know that as nurses all over the nation and all over the world, we will never stop doing what we are called to do, even if we have to die trying.
Submitted by: Marissa, RN, BSN, CCRN, PHN